Grassroot Pantry is one of my favorite health food restaurants in Hong Kong. Apart from the food that is simply divine, I particularly like the atmosphere there. It feels like you’re in the French or English countryside, far away from all the Hong Kong fuss.
The simple and vintage decor is very well thought out. It gives the space a natural and cozy atmosphere where diners enjoy coming for a romantic brunch over the weekend or for dinner with friends during the week.
Chef Peggy Chan (small in size but big in talent :)) opened her restaurant 3 years ago. She offers vegetarian dishes mainly composed of fresh, unprocessed and organic ingredients supplied by small local producers. The menu variety and the dishes quality prove that eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring but can however be surprising and delicious.
Chef Peggy also offers two-hour cooking demonstrations during which she cooks in front of fifteen people.
About a month ago, I had the opportunity to attend one of these demonstrations. The theme was: « Nourishing Gourmet Class ». I encourage people who don’t really know how to cook vegetables, or lack the inspiration during meal preparation, to take part in this type of class. There, one realizes that healthy cooking is very simple, fast and really delicious. In addition, Peggy shares some tips and tricks that can be used in everyday life.
For example, I learned that when cooking a stew, salt must only be added at the very end, when the desired consistency has been obtained, and not at the beginning. Otherwise you end up with a stew that is too salty.
I will leave you with some pictures from the workshop and, as an exclusivity, one of the three recipes cooked by Peggy: The Moroccan vegetable tagine with quinoa tabbouleh.
This is a perfect dish to make for a family dinner or to prepare on a Sunday for the week if you are too busy to cook ;) No more excuses for not eating healthy and balanced !!!
– Celery – 2 sticks
– Carrot – 200g
– Sweet potato – 150g
– Potato – 150g
– Boiled Chickpeas – 100g
– Grapeseed oil – 2 tbsp
– Tagine Spice Mix (Cumin, Coriander, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Turmeric, Chili) – 2 tbsp
– Vegetable stock – 250 ml
– Raisins – 50g
– Pistachios (Toasted) – 40g
– Almonds (Toasted) – 40g
– Dates – 100g
– Mint (rough chopped) – 1 bunch
– Cilantro (rough chopped) – 1 bunch
For the quinoa tabbouleh
– Quinoa (boiled) – 4 cups
– Olive oil – half cup
– Mint (rough chopped) – 2 sprigs
– Cilantro (rough chopped) 2 sprigs
– Juice of ½ lemon
– Flat leaf parsley – 1 bunch
– Salt and pepper – to taste
1 – Peel and dice all vegetables
2 – In a large stockpote (preferably clay or ceramic casserole pot) begin by sautening potatoes on medium heat with grapeseed oil until golden brown on all sides. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a sieve to drain off excess of oil.
3 – In the same stockpot, add 1 tbsp grape seed oil and saute carrot, celery, sweet potatoes for 5 minutes.
4 – Whisk together spice mix and 2 tbsp of grape seed oil together. Add mixture into vegetables, stirring it around so that spices are evenly coated.
5 – Add chickpeas, raisins and dates. Top the tagine base with water (or vegetable stock) bring to a boil and allow to simmer on low heat for 1 hour until liquid inside tagine has tickened. Add roasted potatoes.
6 – Simmer for another 30 minutes – 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper, let sit off heat to allow spices and flavours to macerate.
7 – Best served the next day with leavened bread or quinoa tabbouleh, garnished with toasted almonds, lemon zest and olive oil.
Some other pictures to tempt you ;)
12 FUK SAU LANE,
SAI YING PUN,